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Residents for views on transport direction sought

North Shore City asks residents for views on transport direction

A choice between a city focused on walking and cycling, public transport or cars is being put to the residents and businesses of North Shore City this week, following consultation with councillors and community board members.

The North Shore City Council needs a Transport Strategy to guide road infrastructure decisions, and is seeking the views of its residents to help it decide a strategic direction for the next 10 years.

Three future transport scenarios have been developed and residents are being asked to choose which one they prefer. They range from a 'people city' focused on making walking and cycling safer to a 'public transport city' where improving bus and ferry services are the priority. A third choice is a city concentrating on making car travel as convenient, fast and safe as possible.

A consultation booklet has been sent to every household in the city with residents encouraged to send back a questionnaire detailing their favoured transport future scenario. Consultation meetings are also being held with business, community and youth groups.

Those returning forms can go into a draw to win a range of prizes including bus and ferry passes and $100 and $200 vouchers for car and cycle services. The form and booklet is also available on-line at www.northshorecity.govt.nz or residents can call the city's Actionline on 486 8600. Submissions close on November 10, 2003.

The scenario feedback will be used to help develop a strategic direction for the city's 10-year transport plan. A draft plan will then be consulted on further in the New Year through workshops and focus groups.

Chairperson of the council's works and environment committee, Joel Cayford, says the three scenarios are all quite different.

"The scenarios are not our transport plan. They are simply aimed a giving people some choices so we can judge what future they would prefer. They each offer a different set of options for the kind of transport style and development that could take place in our city," he says. "In practice, we will probably adopt a 'pick 'n mix' approach which is a consistent mix of the most preferred options."

"Our city is already investing a lot in public transport with the development of the country's first Busway system, but we could also do a lot more in the next 10 years. We need some feedback on where to concentrate future resources and funding," says Councillor Cayford.

"We need to get the mix right and meet the needs of pedestrians, ferry and bus users, motorists and cyclists. But we must also ensure that the roads and transport corridors we build don't destroy the lifestyle we all enjoy throughout the city today."

North Shore City has the highest number of cars per household in the country and year on year traffic growth of four per cent.

"Transport is our priority as a city," says Councillor Cayford. "This is a key strategy as transport services affect the quality of life our residents can enjoy. Anyone who lives in, or visits the Auckland region knows that traffic and transport are the big local issues. Our city spends around $35 million a year on improving transport - so it's important we get feedback from our community on where we should focus that investment."

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